Thursday’s practice session at Buffalo Bills training camp was originally scheduled to be outside the team’s ADPRO Sports Training Center, but moved inside due to inclement weather.
It was the media’s first chance to see the newly installed turf inside the facility, complete with blue end zones and a big Bills logo at the 50-yard line. In fact, it’s all made to look and feel exactly like their home field at Highmark Stadium, including using the exact same type of turf.
On the field, the Bills passing offense looked like it hadn’t missed a single beat from where they left off last season when they finished ranked third in the league with over 288 yards per-game through the air. Simply put, the offense, and quarterback Josh Allen, were exceptional through most of the 11-on-11 session.
Allen was finding a plethora of targets all over the field, rarely missing, with several big-time strikes, including two huge gains to wide receiver Cole Beasley.
On the first, Beasley did a great job of getting open down the field, while Allen patiently waited for him to clear the coverage, ultimately firing a strike near the goal line.
The second throw was so impressive, even veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders couldn’t help himself to rave about after practice.
“Josh made a throw today that I haven’t seen," Sanders said. "A post ball to Cole Beasley that was crazy. My mouth dropped, and I’ve been in the league 12 years.”
The throw was right at me and several other media members. It was dropped, and essentially through two defenders into an incredibly tight space, perfectly on target for only Beasley to grab.
Even when Allen wasn’t the quarterback, he was still showing why he’s the leader of the offense.
With Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, Allen was the first player to run up to Tommy Sweeney to pat him up and encourage him after the tight end couldn’t bring in a pass that, although low, appeared to be very catchable.
It wasn’t a perfect day for the offense, though. The defense had their share of wins, especially later in the morning. Rookie defensive end Carlos "Boogie" Basham batted one of Allen’s passes into the air, ran under it, and took it back to the other end zone for a pick-six.
Shortly after that, cornerback Siran Neal stepped in front of an Allen toss for an interception of his own. The quarterback immediately went to offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to discuss what went wrong on the play.
Neal almost came up with another pick, this time off Trubisky, diving for a low pass in front of the intended receiver, just missing from keeping the ball off the turf.
- Tight end Jacob Hollister was not in attendance, but no word was given on his status.
- Defensive end Jerry Hughes remained out and on the Active-Non-Football Injury List with a calf strain, while offensive linemen Dion Dawkins and Ike Boettger were both officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and remained out.
The team will be back on the field Friday at 10 a.m. ET.
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